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Once PirateBox is installed, you can do maintenance after logging in with your SSH client.


/etc/piratebox.common has the global config on top. It is not recommended to change it unless you know exactly about the consequences, but if you decide to change, for example, the IP address or the ESSID, be sure to activate it with the setup command as described below.

The init script

Central tool for managing PirateBox is the init script /etc/init.d/piratebox. It support the following subcommands:

  • setup activates current USB and network configuration as described in /etc/piratebox.common. It is only required during initial installation or after config changes.
  • init mounts USB drive, and sets up swap and ext3 image therein (for the huge python installation).
  • update downloads the latest PirateBox files from David Darts' website to USB disk.
  • nodns disables local DNS redirection through dnsmasq which is required for local network access over a WAN connection.
  • start and stop the PirateBox service, of course. The former subcommand also automatically calls init and update when it detects an un-PirateBox-ified USB disk.

USB drive upgrades

If you decide to switch your USB drive for a new one, the procedure is rather simple:

  1. Unplug the PirateBox's AC
  2. Switch the USB drive for a new one (must be FAT32-formatted)
  3. Connect the WAN port to your Internet router.
  4. Plug-in AC
  5. Wait about a minute or two for the PirateBox frontend to start.
  6. Unplug WAN
  7. Unplug AC
  8. Connect both old and new drive to your PC and copy everything in PirateBox/Shared over to the respective folder on the new drive.

Update the PirateBox software

  1. Connect via SSH
  2. Connect WAN port to Internet router
  3. Use the commands
/etc/init.d/piratebox stop
/etc/init.d/piratebox update
/etc/init.d/piratebox start
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